And they don't have to come from plants either. They could be entirely synthetic, made in a lab, and look chemically nothing like anything found in nature. They could also be derived from bacteria (that's common practice in cosmetics and perfumery these days), or be a waste product of other manufacturing.
So we can see just from this brief expose that vegan doesn't necessarily mean non-toxic or plant-based. But what about integrity? It should stand to reason that any company making a product branded as vegan should be values-driven. But that is not necessarily the case. Amazingly, it is even possible that some of these companies could still be testing on animals!
So now that you know, what are you to do?
Here are 4 easy steps to buying vegan products that are truly healthy, safe and plant-derived:
3. Look for certification and statements. Anyone can use the word 'vegan' but are they also registered cruelty-free, are they certificated natural and/or toxin-free, and are they actually claiming to be 100% natural?
4. Price is a clue. If it's super cheap (especially compared to brands you know are genuinely vegan and 100% natural) then it's probably made with lots of toxic synthetic ingredients. Real plant-derived ingredients are expensive, so the products made from them are usually more expensive too.